(Closed) Expensive (Professional) Wedding Album vs. DIY

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Go with the professional wedding album or DIY?

    Worth the expense. Pay for the professional album.

    Save the money. Go the DIY route.

  • Post # 47
    4122 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Sigh – I really DON’T suggest trying to “sneak” the system. Many DO check, actually! That, and this is a public forum and lying or copyright violation should never be praised.

    I have a question for all the Graphic Designers in this thread.

    If you created work for someone, let’s say a logo… and then after you gave it to them they had their friend (not a graphic designer) change it to something completely different but still resembling your logo… would you be OK with that? Especially if they went around saying you did it?

    Just food for thought and a shoe from the other foot.

    I personally think that yes, pro albums are worth it. Yes, they are expensive. I have samples at hefty sample discounts that are over $1000 in materials alone, let alone my time. However, are they right for everyone? No. I do think that if you forgo a pro album (for a lesser press printed one) you do need to make sure to get great prints etc. DVD’s are not archivable. Even “archivable” ones will fail in this lifetime if dvd’s even last that long. You need to make sure to back up all your images, HD, discs, etc at least once a year. I would also keep a fresh disc in a fire proof box along with my important documents… 

    Post # 48
    10357 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    View original reply
    @arenyth: There is a difference between high res JPEG and high res RAW files. RAW is a format that most people do not have the capability to manipulate and work with. It requires special software (it is uncompressed and contains a lot more color info than compressed JPEGS do – all JPEG files are compressed – thus giving photographers more ability to edit the photos before they are converted to high res JPEGs and given to you. JPEG vs RAW does not imply “low” vs “high” resolution. You will be hard pressed to find a photographer willing to released unedited RAW files to you. THe post processing really adds a great deal to photos – it is a very big deal. I know I would never release a photo that someone would say I took without having done my own post processing on it first. Your style is your calling card as a photographer, and I wouldn’t want my name associated with something someone else edited.

    Post # 49
    394 posts
    Helper bee

    @something.blue : I absolutely love the KISS albums. These are the primary albums I provide for all my clients. I love the simplicity and general aesthetic of them. The print quality is fabulous and they are really durable.

    Post # 50
    4 posts

    Hey there! It sounds like you definitly have the know-how and talent to make your own album, so if it is something that you want to do then go for it. Even if you find that you don’t have enough time or change your mind a few months after the wedding, your photographer should still be willing to design an album for you then (so don’t feel like you have to decide now). Something that we often tell our clients is that we archive images for years, so if you get some unexpected money for a wedding gift or want to do an album as an anniversary gift, you can.

    There are plenty of good companies that allow for consumer album design (though I don’t think that Pictage is one of them… I believe you have to be a professional to register). The most important thing is for you to feel comfortable with your decision… and if paying for an album is going to push you out of your comfort zone (financially) then I say don’t do it 🙂

    Congrats on the wedding! Good luck with everything!

    Post # 51
    210 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I don’t think I’d even consider a professional album.  I’d maybe consider hiring a pro scrapbook person or an artist/craftsperson who works in mixed media.  But I don’t see myself going with an album from a photographer-there’s so many things I’d like to include in an album besides photographs. 

    Post # 52
    12 posts
    • Wedding: October 1993

    I would not sweat the RAW, but it is odd they would not give them to you. I wrote a article about this going over all the options availble to you.

    {link removed due to self-promotion policy}


    The biggest difference between DIY and a pro is the layout options for a DIY company are fairly simple, no layering etc.. But some are so cheap if you do not like it just try again!

    Post # 53
    22 posts
    • Wedding: April 2012

    It pisses me off that you are expected to pay several hundered dollars for an album. Just make it yourself, when my parents got married it was the norm to buy a dinky photo album and stick regular photos in there.

    Post # 54
    171 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2009

    Island Bride in April, when did your parents get married?

    My parents got married in 1979, and they purchased an album that was custom and assembled by the photographer.

    My grandparents married in 1948 and they have a professionally constructed album as well.

    Once upon a time, the album and ordered enlargements were all you got from the wedding day. As a kid, I looked through them often and loved seeing their big day.

    Post # 55
    1403 posts
    Bumble bee

    It all comes down to your budget and expectations.  The high quality albums available to professional photographers are not sold to the general public.  DIY photobooks are usually press printed, and do not use photo paper, they use cardstock.  They also use glued bindings that are not as durable as sewn bindings.  Pro books have higher quality printing, and are more archival and durable.  There is a difference.

    Post # 56
    7 posts
    • Wedding: May 2006

    As a middle ground between DIY and buying your photographer’s expensive wedding album package, you might want to consider using a grpahic designer to design and order your album.  As a graphic designer myself, specializing in wedding albums, I have access to the same print-to-bind sources professional photoraphers use, without the markup.  A designer can also help you navigate the many album choices out there and help you find the perfect one for your design taste and budget.  It’s a little more $ than DIY, but you end up with a professionally designed, premium quality product — for a lot less than you would have to pay your photographer for the same thing.   

    Post # 57
    784 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    Thanks for this post! I was on the fence about this too. Ya’ll gave some great advice.

    Post # 58
    1403 posts
    Bumble bee

    View original reply
    @Susan Gallagher:  you have posted this several times before and never responded to questions.  Why would a graphic designer’s price be any different?  Are you saying they are working for free?

    Post # 59
    61 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: January 2008

    DIY is always a good idea, but for me it ends there. Who really has the time to make their own album? And you have to agree that your wedding day is the most special day ever and it should be preserved in the perfect album. I had my album done professionally and wouldn’t have it any other way. I would highly recommend EVER Ablum Design for the design (http://www.everalbumdesign.com) and now they sell the high end albums from Cypress Fine Albums (http://www.cypressalbums.com). It came out perfect and I love it. The best thing about EVER Album Design is that if you inquire about having an album made, they won’t be pushy about the sale. Let them know your budget, and they will work with you and get you something within your range. If they can’t help you, they will point you in the right direction. They’re awesome.

    Post # 60
    263 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    commenting – so i can save this thread

    Post # 61
    7358 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I know this thread is old, and recently got bumped. I just thought I’d add…from a professionals point of view, when I see my clients years down the road every single one of them who planned to do their own ablum with their digitals, didn’t. 

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